Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[Tangential] and [arguably] non-relevant verbose introduction

Hey y'all! I hope that everyone, particular those in what is currently a gloomy Minneapolis, is [happily] trudging through the last Tuesday that September will throw at us. I can reply to the previous sentence with a reasonably high level of certainty that I am indeed trudging, although I typed "Monday" rather than "Tuesday" upon first composing the sentence. Ok, you caught me, I am purposefully being a superfluously wordy smartass....

I think the reason I opted to open this blog post this way because I just had a wonderful in engaging lunch with an old friend, Sara Antonson. First, a backstory:
She and I went to elementary and secondary school together (along with many other pre-adolescent and adolescent persons... ok, last one, I promise?), who partially grew up just a few blocks from me. We just had a lunch in one of Midtown Global Market's restaurants, the name of which I have forgotten. It was great to see such an open-minded person, and someone who I feel has "gotten" me for many years. 
In any case, we talked a great deal, or as much of a "deal" as a mere hour can provide, about word choice, articulation of abstract and concrete ideas, verbosity, and continuing this list would just perpetuate the smartass-smile that is spread across my face.

 What am I up to?

Fig. 1: Equalette using a 20' cordelette
I have been building some anchors :). Anchors are a component of any climbing/mountaineering endeavor, and do exactly what the name implies: they anchor something(s) to something(s) else. I think that the easiest visualization of the use of a climbing anchor is to think of a what is required to "Top Rope," one particular form of climbing.

Top roping is a phrase which Kali always thought sounded dirty, and the smile that illuminated her face when I told her I was going climbing tended to crack me up. In addition to being a phrase which Kali found amusing, top roping is also a form of climbing where the rope begins at the bottom of a wall, goes up to the top, around or through an anchor, and then back to the bottom. This is the most common form of climbing at gyms, so it is probably what you would intuit when conjuring images of what climbing "is".

When setting up a top rope system at Taylors Falls in Interstate State Park, MN, you walk to the top of the cliff via very accessible pedestrian paths. You then use a combination of thin rope, "webbing," and "gear" (small pieces of metal designed for this purpose, among others) to build an "anchor." Once this is properly built, the amount of tension on each strand of rope should be approximately equal (Fig 1), and the rope can be threaded through the anchor and chucked off the cliff.

The reason I have been practicing these is that there are many ways of "equalizing" anchors, and they all have a set of pros and cons. I would like to be comfortable with the many anchor setups so that I can efficiently determine the correct method and build the anchor when "real life" scenarios come up.


Fig 2: Whole wheat Tassajara bread; watch for scale
I have been making bread. This is something I have been interested in doing for several (ca. 8?) years, and lately have been making it per the "Tassajara Bread Book's" guidelines. Thank you Erik for the tip! I hope I am doing their bread justice.

Fig 3: Dragonfly, view to the northeast; leaves for scale

Taking some photos. This is a dragonfly that sat in the front window for two days, and then I moved him or her to our back yard. It is very late in the season to be seeing dragonflies.

Fig 4: The Rural Alberta Advantage at First Avenue's Mainroom.;
Lead singer is approximately 1.76 m. tall


Going to shows! I have a new show buddy, Maggie, a high school acquaintance of mine, who has been going to shows at First Avenue
with me! We recently saw Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps (amazing), All Tiny Creatures (wow!), and The Rural Alberta Advantage (o.   m.    g.), and have plans to see at least Ryan Adams, Beirut, and Mason Jennings later this fall.


 Staring at rocks...What else is new?
Fig 5: Pod Rock collected near Homestake Peak ca. 2 years
 ago; No scale needed

Thanks for being such amazing friends, y'all! Keep it up! Don't be mediocre! You know who you are. Send me some positive thoughts this Sunday from 8am to about 11:20 (11:30 to be safe). I would appreciate that.


  1. I'm gonna be flinging some positive cheers your way on the southwest shore of Lake Calhoun! GO DONNIE!!!!

  2. Just thought you should know that I literally laughed out loud because you included scales in your photos. :)